In other words, both the publisher and the retailer are under the gun only to pick books that sell, and usually to limit the number of books on shelves:
For this reason, both parties make decisions based on a risk-management model. The publisher would rather push too few books out to the bookstore, because if the book sells out, it can be re-stocked without penalty, and the bookstore would rather have fewer copies of an untested book on their shelf simply because they can’t afford to waste the shelf space on a non-seller.Learn What Publishers Do And Don't Do
When the bookstore buyers make a decision to stock and shelve a certain book, they decide on the number of copies and the amount of shelf space fairly carefully, and with an eye towards risk management.
That means they “grade” books based upon:
Nowhere on the list is how important, insightful, well written or nice looking the book is. It’s simply not part of the calculation. Also, for a new author, the publisher’s sales performance for that category matters more than ever, simply because the author’s sales performance is an unknown.Build A Platform To Leverage Sales